OREM — Piute and Altamont squared off Friday in the 1A volleyball championships at UVSC to determine who would claim fifth place. After giving the first game to Altamont, Piute ran off three straight to emerge as the winner, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21 and 25-11.
After the first game loss, coach Sherida Allen gathered her team around her and said, "This is our last game, so we might as well go out and play as hard as we can."
Her girls responded by slowing down Altamont's big gun, McKenzie Lindsay, who still had a whale of a game pounding 17 kills, getting 10 digs and adding three service aces. The difference for Lindsay was she didn't have as much help around her as the Thunderbirds did in their lineup.
Piute's Amanda Bagley said they changed strategy in the second game. She said, "We went to the trap block." It began to work as Lindsay was somewhat neutralized, allowing the Thunderbirds to tie the score in that game at 5-5 and then pull away for the win.
Bagley was huge in the middle, amassing seven kills and six blocks. And she had lots of help. Shelby Millet registered seven kills and Krystyna Lamas knocked down six kills.
Bagley prides herself in the middle, claiming she enjoys blocking more than the power slam. She said, "I like to see if I can put down the best hit they got."
But no one was bigger than Kandice Gleave for Piute. She slammed 14 kills to lead the Thunderbirds. And she is only a freshman.
About the first game loss, she said: "We just weren't focusing. We just got together and said we were going to do it."
Gleave does not play like a freshman. In the fourth game at the 23rd point she hammered one down to set up match point and then she didn't leave anything to chance. She powered down the 25th point as the Piute fans erupted in celebration.